The professional services arm of Mastercard, MasterCard Advisors is under fire for selling on consumer data to organisations that want to develop segmented marketing campaigns based on consumer behaviour.
There’s a great deal of hysteria in the press about this today, Pando ticker claiming that Mastercard has been trying to keep this secret, in spite of the following being clearly visible on Mastercard Advisors own website:
"MasterCard Information Services for Media helps advertisers, advertising intermediaries, and media properties better run their businesses with actionable and valuable information-driven insights based on real behavioral and spending data.
Understand and measure consumer behavior for improved media targeting and planning
Root decisions in real-time information based on actual purchase behavior
Integrate on-line and off-line insights
Create, analyze, and model highly detailed consumer segments to optimize advertising and offers
Forecast spending behavior "
As with Facebook, they're not selling your name, address etc, rather batch-loads of "your" spending history based on your demographic information.
The biggest winner seems to be Mastercard – this is a new product for them, and as long as they weather the privacy storm (and Facebook certainly managed it) then this story going as wide as it has will certainly help them reach their primary audience of people whose concern is consumer data. Who might, for example, search for "consumer data" on google in the runup to Xmas which would lead them to this article:
Call me paranouid, but I smell PR.
Am I wrong? Tell me belowâ€¦